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The Robe (1953)

Unrated | | Drama, History | 4 December 1953 (France)
In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

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(screenplay), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Diana
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Jay Robinson ...
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Justus
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Sen. Gallio
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Miriam
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Paulus
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Junia
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Abidor
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Storyline

Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus' homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares and delusions after the event. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, and still not believing in Jesus, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he killed. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The First Picture on the New Miracle Curved Screen ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Das Gewand  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$36,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening shot after the title credits (and the background "red robe" curtain parts) is actually a scene lifted from this film's sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954). That's Jay Robinson as Caligula presiding over the ceremony preceding the gladiatorial games. This differs from the opening in the "flat" 1.37:1 Academy ratio version. Susan Hayward as Messalina sitting to his left, Barry Jones as Claudius on his right, William Marshall as Glycon in the front row of gladiator on the far right, Victor Mature as Demetrius standing directly behind him and Ernest Borgnine as Strabo who is leading the gladiatorial procession. See more »

Goofs

In the sword fight between Marcellus Gallio and the Roman commander, there is a shot of Gallio holding his sword to the commander's throat, while the commander is on the ground. The sword is an obvious prop that is rounded on the end like a spatula. See more »

Quotes

Emperor Tiberius: For your sake I interfered, when my wife wanted to give you to Caligula. For your sake I brought your tribune back from Palestine. For your sake, I now free you from him.
Diana: Sire, I have no wish to be free.
Emperor Tiberius: Have you gone mad too?
Diana: He had everything then. He could have had me too. I wanted him, but I wasn't sure that I loved him. Now I am sure.
Emperor Tiberius: I see it my duty to forbid you to see him again. As a child you were wise, but now you reason like a woman - foolishly.
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Connections

Referenced in A Night at the Movies: The Gigantic World of Epics (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
'There's only one man at whose side I pray to sit.'

The film opens in Rome in the 18th year of the emperor Tiberius (Ernest Thesiger). Rome's legions stand guard on the boundaries of civilization from the foggy coasts of the northern seas to the ancient rivers of Babylon…

Today the slave market is crowded because the emperor's heir and regent, the young Caligula (Jay Robinson) is coming to buy gladiators… He probably will not be pleased to see Tribune Marcellus Gallio…

Marcellus (Richard Burton) forgot the promise he made to Diana (Jean Simmons) to marry her when they grew up… They were friends many years ago when they were children… Now, since her father death, Diana has been the ward of the emperor and his wife… Empress Julia (Rosalind Ivan) thinks she could be good for Caligula…

At the auction, Caligula leaves the place very angry… Marcellus buys a rebellious Greek with the name of Demetrius (Victor Mature) to be his personal attendant…

Few hours later, Marcellus pays the consequences for humiliating Caligula, and is ordered to the garrison at Jerusalem, the worst pest-hole in the empire where the people are always on the verge of rebellion… Caligula hoped by this order to give Marcellus his death sentence… Senator Gallio (Torin Thatcher) asks his son Marcellus to be above all a Roman and a man of honor…

On the deck before the galley set sail to Palestine, Diana appears to tell Marcellus that she's going back to Capri to ask the emperor to intercede for him… Marcellus didn't believe that a girl of 11 could fall in love and stay in love all these years…

All the spirit of the age is present in Koster's epic: The wilderness of the land of Galilee; the massage relaxing area; the terrifying meeting of Demetrius with one of Jesus' disciples; the Roman procurator of Judea asking to wash his hands more than once; the tribune's first battle trophy, for victory over the king of the Jews; the spectacular sword fight between two officers of the empire; and a lost robe in the hands of a runaway slave...

Richard Burton is the brave Tribune who renews his pledge of loyalty to his emperor and to Rome; Jean Simmons is lovely as the exquisite maiden who stands firmly besides her love; Victor Mature is brave and spirited as the Greek slave; Michael Rennie is serious and profound in thoughts and manners as Simon the Galilean; Jay Robinson is terrific as the vicious, treacherous young Caligula drunk with power; Dean Jagger is full of devotion and reverence as the humble and honest Justus; Ernest Thesiger is efficient enough as the austere Tiberius; Betta St. John is so sweet as the disabled believer Miriam; and Torin Thatcher is too helpless as the proud Senator…

It is notable that Jesus of Nazareth is seen from far away riding a white donkey with all the people around carrying palms and as a tortured figure, impossible to discern lying beneath the heavy cross... Henry Koster restraints with dignity the recreation of the execution carried out at Calvary, outside Jerusalem...


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